Fish picks Knowles to help him out of slump
Originally published on: 27/03/12 12:44
Mardy Fish has appointed a new coach in the hope of turning round his mediocre start to the year. The 30-year-old American is working with Mark Knowles, who is making his first steps in coaching after 23 years as a player. Knowles, who is from the Bahamas, is still ranked No.72 in doubles at the age of 40 and recently won the 55th doubles title of his career. He has won at least one title every year since the turn of the century.
Fish and Knowles have been friends for many years. “He’s one of the best guys around that you’ll come across,” Fish said. “He obviously plays doubles at a high level and has played for a long time – and in this era he’s also played the guys that I play. He obviously knows the game extremely well. He’s an extremely good tennis mind.”
Although Fish will continue to work with David Nainkin and with Rodney Marshall, a strength and conditioning coach, when he is training at Carson, Knowles will be the world No.8’s travelling coach. “We played doubles together in 2010 and he helped me out a ton,” Fish said. “He has a ton of knowledge, so I think it will certainly be helpful for me. It’s nice as well to get a different voice sometimes.”
Having reached the year-ending World Tour Finals for the first time last year, Fish has struggled to build on his success this time around. He won only three matches in his first four tournaments, lost to Alejandro Falla in the second round of the Australian Open and was beaten by Albano Olivetti, then the world No.388, in Marseille.
However, he has shown immediate signs of improvement in his first tournament working with Knowles. In beating Kevin Anderson on Monday to reach the fourth round in the Masters 1000 tournament in Miami, Fish won his second match in a row for the first time this year.